The Jakarta Post
The Tanoto Foundation has donated millions of pieces of personal protective equipment to support health workers handling patients with COVID-19 in response to a shortage of such gear.
The charity, founded in 1981 by one of the country’s wealthiest men, Sukanto Tanoto, handed over on Tuesday 1 million gloves, 1 million masks, 100,000 coveralls and 3,000 goggles to national COVID-19 task force head Doni Monardo.
The task force and the foundation would distribute the equipment to hospitals in Jakarta, Medan in North Sumatera and Pekanbaru in Riau.
“We are moved to help doctors and medical staff at risk of exposure to COVID-19 by donating personal protective equipment, which is important in this state of emergency,” the foundation’s CEO, Satrijo Tajudjojo, was quoted as saying in a statement released on Tuesday.
“In our view, their courage and willingness are a true form of heroism.”
The foundation, operating offices not only in Indonesia but also in China and Singapore, procured the equipment from China using a chartered flight on April 2 in partnership with conglomerate Royal Golden Eagle — also founded by Tanoto in 1973.
Using another chartered flight operated by national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, the foundation was expected to procure on Saturday another load of protective equipment weighing up to 30 tons.
The donation comes at a time when hospitals across the country are contending with a shortage of such equipment, which is putting health workers at risk of contracting the fast-spreading coronavirus.
Jakarta, the national epicenter of the outbreak, has recorded 118 infections with the disease among health workers as of Monday. Twenty of them have recovered, while one has died.
Nationwide, at least 18 doctors have died in the fight against COVID-19, the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) said on Sunday.
The government reported on Tuesday 247 new COVID-19 patients, raising the number of confirmed cases to 2,738. Of them, 221 have died while 204 have recovered.
“We realize that the health workers handling the spread of COVID-19 really need personal protective equipment so that they can work optimally,” said Doni, who also heads the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
The task force has distributed more than 12 million masks and 380,000 coveralls to hospitals across the country as of Monday, according to BNPB spokesman Agus Wibowo.